A lot of people are concerned about the image Disney presents to young girls. The girls will deal, although they might grow up with a princess complex, but that’s your fault for buying them all that pink crap. Bigger problem: the lessons that Disney’s princess movies are teaching to the boys. Shouldn’t we be just a wee bit concerned?
Here’s some of the life lessons for men I’ve picked out over 100-ish years of Disney magic:
Women like to be sexually assaulted by strange guys in their sleep!
It’s OK to act like an animal or a juvenile delinquent, as long as you’re living in the jungle at the time, and when there’s not a woman around to keep you in line. It’s practically expected that you’ll go all Lord of the Flies, letting farting pigs and bears give you advice. Tinkerbelle is the crappiest babysitter ever.
Your primary function is to grow up and get married, ASAP. To a girl. GOD. This is Disney, we don’t talk about alternative lifestyle arrangements! And whatever you do, don’t be single. If you are single, you’re a jerk. And also likely evil.
If you’re fugly, better get used to the idea of being in the hot chick’s friendzone. At best.
She wants a fixer-upper. Prepare to have your life turned upside down.
Don’t worry about finding her, she’ll find you. Just sit back and let it happen. She’s most likely to wander into your castle by accident. Or she’ll transform her body and begin to stalk you. Or you might trip over a hot corpse in a glass coffin somewhere. She’ll fall in love with you even if you’re an ass. Even if you’re an abusive one (cough, Belle). This is possibly related to the desire for a fixer-upper.
Magic is the only way to make the bad things in your life get better. Godforbid you–I dunno–work out your problems.
A moustache is a sure sign that you’re evil. Everyone knows that the only acceptable facial hair on a good guy is a chin beard. Note: the chin beard will still result in your chick assuming that you’re skeevy for a while before deciding you’re a fixer-upper. Hello! You’re supposed to save the damsel in distress. Make yourself useful by killing some monsters—er, spiders.
As a man, you will play a forgettable, secondary role in almost all things. You’re just along for the ride until some spiders need killin’.
Better hit the gym. If you’re skinny, you’re either comedic relief or a jerk. Possibly evil. Her dad is likely to kick your butt. Dads are scary mofos in all Disney movies. Unless he’s fat, in which case, you’re cool.
Being a “progressive” man means that you must act like a an incompetent bumbling idiot and the woman has to save your tush for a change. No, there is no alternative definition. You’re either a Prince Charming, or a progressive victim serving a role in freeing women from sexist oppression. It’s the 21st century. Deal with it.
If you dislike the weak image of a male role model that you presented with, you can always buy other, better ones. And then ruin them. Yes Disney, we know you bought PIXAR and the Star Wars franchise to get some decent “boy stuff” going. You totally missed the point of having good male examples who have well-fleshed character arcs. You’ll cry yourselves to sleep later on your bed of money, I’m sure. The messages our boy are facing may be mixed, and the male role models might be sad and weak, but Disney does have one more consistent, important lesson to teach our boys: It doesn’t matter whether you’re Prince Charming or a wastrel. Your girl is a princess, and unless you want to sleep on the couch, you damn well better treat her like one!